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Muriel's Wedding (Widescreen) [Import]

Toni Collette , Rachel Griffiths , P.J. Hogan    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Ever since the late '70s when the Australian New Wave was in full surge, Down Under directors have delivered movies that often hit you like news from another planet. Offbeat characters, weird narrative twists, and a tart mixture of laughs and catastrophe--this is the juice that fuels such flicks as Proof, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Strictly Ballroom, Heavenly Creatures, and most certainly Muriel's Wedding. Directed by P.J. Hogan (who would go on to helm the Hollywood hit My Best Friend's Wedding), this little gem follows tradition by featuring an authentic misfit: Muriel (Toni Collette), a great overweight horse of a girl obsessed with getting married and the music of ABBA. Appropriately, we first meet Muriel at a wedding, all trussed up in a leopardskin number she's boosted for the occasion. When her snotty peers insist that she give up the bridal bouquet to someone who might actually get hitched, when one of the guests turns out to be a clerk in the very store where Muriel ripped off her outfit--you gotta laugh, she's such an unmitigated mess. A loser, her philandering politician father (Bill Hunter) calls her--along with his doormat wife and his other couch-potato offspring. But this movie's no exercise in geek-bashing. As Muriel takes up with feisty Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) and moves from Porpoise Spit to the big city, her good-hearted grin and zest for life draw us in despite hilarious gaffes and mishaps. (Making out with a boy for the first time, Muriel suddenly finds herself awash in styrofoam: the oaf has unzipped the beanbag chair instead of her skin-tight leather pants.) Muriel's Wedding covers territory Hollywood would banish from a comedy--Rhonda's cancer, the suicide of Muriel's mother, a marriage of convenience to an arrogant athlete--yet, like its heroine, it never loses its sense of humor, its will to move on to whatever good thing might happen next. Everyone in the idiosyncratic cast is terrific, but it's Toni Collette's Dancing Queen who makes Muriel's Wedding a cinematic celebration you won't forget. --Kathleen Murphy

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Muriel's Wedding

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie June 20 2004
Toni Collette plays an awkward, clumsy woman named Muriel who fantasizes about getting married and listens to ABBA. Living in Porpoise Spit, she has no life of her own. She, as well as her family, are mentally abused by the father, a philandering politician who will do anything to gain popularity. The group of women that she hangs around with, don't want her around because she doesn't live up to their standards--beautiful and stupid. While on vacation, she meets with a high school friend, Rhonda.
Before her performance in "Six Feet Under", Rachel Griffiths plays Rhonda, a high school friend of Muriel's who is transformed into a swan. The popular quartet accepts her but she rejects them because of their cruel treatment of her in high school. She and Muriel move to Sidney, and Muriel starts anew. But when Rhonda is hit with cancer, Muriel goes back into her dreams of being a bride. Muriel does marry but for the wrong reasons. Muriel is forced to confront herself, her family, and the people in her life that hurt her emotionally.
This movie deals with acceptance and Muriel had to accept that there were some things you could and couldn't change.
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Australian writer/director P.J. Hogan's modern masterpiece, "Muriel's Wedding" serves up wedding cake with wheelchairs, confetti with cancer, ABBA with ardor, sweetness with stealing, and more importantly friends with foes in this one of a kind black comedy.
"Muriel's Wedding" not only launched P.J. Hogan's directing and writing career but gave a leg up to Toni Collette who agreed to pack on 30 lbs. for the once in a lifetime role of Muriel Heslop, citizen of small town Porpoise Spit, Australia. Rachel Griffiths from "Six Feet Under" also got her first shot playing Muriel's friend, wild child and general black sheep of Porpoise Spit, Rhonda Epinstalk. Rhonda and Muriel escape the small town and small people of Porpoise Spit for the big city lights and acceptance of Sidney, Australia.
A low self-esteemed wedding obsessed wannabe, Muriel lies, cheats and steals her way to her ultimate goal. Getting HITCHED! At least that's what Muriel thinks she desires, but all she wants is to truly be accepted by friends, family and her WHOLE world. Muriel's whole existence is based on "Why Can't It Be Me? Why Can't I Be The One?"
Muriel's parents, Bill and Betty Heslop, played by Aussie actors Bill Hunter and Jeanie Drynan both turn in excellent and believable performances. Especially Jeanie Drynan as the put upon mother who unconditionally loves her children and only wants to think the best of them.
Also featured are four judgemental and witchy women who are Muriel and Rhonda's former high school classmates. Some of the greatest comedy scenes take place between the six gals and are hilarious!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Almost brilliant... June 1 2004
By A Customer
This movie is almost amazing and funny and touching, but somehow, it just misses the mark. The fault really isn't the actors, they are superb (Toni Collette is great in everything she does.) And the fault certainly isn't the ABBA-centered soundtrack playing in the background; it adds some much-needed levity to a very heavy comedy-drama.
The first major problem of the movie is that it can't decide whose story it is. You would think with a title like Muriel's Wedding that we would see things through Muriel's point of view. But so many times, we're taken off on these scenes without Muriel, where we catch a glimpse of Rhonda's thoughts or the mother's feelings. It gives a disjointed feel to the movie, keeping us from focusing on Muriel, the supposed object of our admiration and encouragement.
The movie also offers drama to the point of the extreme, and it can't really recover from the depressing story lines that pop up periodically. Very few directors and screenwriters know how to make a drama light-hearted and amusing. Billy Wilder was one. If he had directed Muriel's Wedding, it really would have been something to stand up and cheer about. This movie has a character with a cancerous tumor who will never walk again, a woman who feels so worthless she commits suicide, a father who is cheating on his wife and verbally abusing his children, and Muriel, who is obsessed with weddings and ABBA, a trait which might be funnier if there weren't all this other mess going on. Ultimately, we like Muriel, but we'd like her more if we saw more of her, and less of her dysfunctional friends and family.
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It's now 10 years since "Muriel's Wedding" first release, and for the most part it has relegated to the back of people's minds as "that ABBA movie." However, with the exception of one side-splitting scene featuring a gotta-see-it-to-appreciate-it lip-synched rendition of 'Waterloo,' the music is but the background to a great story of rejection and friendship.
When I saw "About a Boy" recently, I was reminded again about the fearlessness of Toni Collette, who I believe is one of the world's great (and certainly most underrated) actresses. 'Muriel' is where it all began for her. Check her out in 'Muriel,' then 'Emma,' and finally 'About a Boy.' This is a beautiful, talented lady not afraid to do whatever the role requires. She's incredible. Watch the bar scene in Hibiscus where her friends essentially disown her. Her reaction is so stark and heartbreaking that I suspect that even her fellow actors were uncomfortable. It's no wonder this role won her Australia's equivalent of an Oscar. She's that good.
This is where it also started for Rachel Griffiths, heartbreaking as Rhonda Epinstalk, Muriel's best friend. This is your chance to see two real stars making their initial marks. What a thrill in that.
Also, never pass up a chance to see Bill Hunter, who put together three stirling performances back in the 1992 - 1994 timeframe: "Strictly Ballroom" (as Dancing Federation Chairman Barry Fife - *the* funniest role ever on film); "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" (as 'Bob,' potential suitor to transvestite Bernadette as played by the great Terence Stamp); and here as failed local politico Bill Heslop ("You Can't Stop Progress"). Bill Hunter knows comedy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
the best movie ever abba abba abba yahoo great acting thanks for this my 12 sisters you are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published 7 months ago by kalley
5.0 out of 5 stars funny australian flick
i enjoyed the product a lot... pretty much like it was advised and even more... i can say im satisfied
Published 8 months ago by james 007
5.0 out of 5 stars Funnnyyyy
This movie was purchased for myself. I was happy for the service provided. Thanks! Will do business again soon.
Great movie.
Published 16 months ago by Linetta Osecap
5.0 out of 5 stars Muriel's Wedding
This gem of a movie from Down Under stars the multi-talented Toni Colette (at the beginning of her career). Wonderful cast and an endearing story. You will love it!
Published 20 months ago by natalie hafez
5.0 out of 5 stars Rewatchable and fun and ... crazy.
I had watched this as a teenager from the strong recommendation of a cousin -- initial impression was surprise: I liked the music (ABBA) but was it really such a great movie to... Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2011 by KJ
5.0 out of 5 stars "You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen"
Living in Porpoise Spit, Australia, Muriel (Toni Collette) is fat, plain, and utterly hopeless, thanks to her father who calls her a 'useless lump. Read more
Published on July 4 2010 by Kona
4.0 out of 5 stars Muriel's Wedding-A fun flick from begining to end!
This retro-review is for the widescreen version of "Muriel's Wedding",still available as of this writing and at a steal of a price. Read more
Published on May 20 2008 by Robert Badgley
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie
I watched this wonderful movie about a year after it originally came out. I connected with the (very real lives of the) characters. Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by aj
4.0 out of 5 stars sad, funny and true!
Well, mostly true anyway...Everyone remembers things differently. It is very much based on the directors family. I remember when the mother died, it was very sad. Read more
Published on April 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my God was this funny...
I LOVED this movie. Toni Collette was absolutely brilliant here. The movie was funny, but it was so sad too. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by M. I.
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